MIDFIELDERS JOEVIN Jones and Ataullah Guerra will miss Trinidad and Tobago’s friendly football international away to Thailand on Sunday.
According to a media release from the TT Football Association (TTFA) yesterday, Jones has pulled out of the 20-man TT team for personal reasons while Guerra was forced to miss the game due to a United States work permit issue. The TT team arrived in Bangkok yesterday.
Jones, in a statement to TT coach Lawrence, indicated he was not in the best state of mind at this time.
“I think it’s best for me to take this time to regroup and get back to me where I can be,” said Jones, who plays for Darmstadt 98 in Germany. “I will take full responsibility for this last-minute decision as much as I really wanted to be part of the team on this trip I hope you can understand where I’m coming from as a player.
“I’m really sorry but I really need this time… wouldn’t want to come out and disappoint,” Jones added.
Lawrence acknowledged, “We are going to be short of two players. One of them is Guerra for work permit issues. He will not be able to travel out of the US. I think in the end it was the right decision for him not to travel because we couldn’t take the risk for his personal situation.
“Then we have the situation with Jones where he at the last minute indicated he could not travel for personal reasons in terms of emotionally, physically and mentally he was not in a right place,” Lawrence continued.
“He didn’t feel he would be any help to the team and he didn’t want to make the trip.”
The former national team central defender added, “So as much as I understood him and I will try to support the player to ensure he is back to where he should be, I was really disappointed with the timing of it because he had enough time and he could have allowed us to be informed way in advance before we purchased the ticket.
“So now we are left short. I am absolutely very disappointed with that but as I said with the group that is here, we are going to press forward and work to suit,” he added.
“Those are two important players for us based on the last game. But then again, the positive side is for the ones who are going to get the opportunity to take their place as I said before we are trying to create a competitive group. It is going to be an opportunity for two players to come in and hopefully stake their claim.
“As much as I can understand Ataullah’s situation as these things do happen, unfortunately for him the Joevin one is a bit different because there was enough time where we could have taken the opportunity to bring another player. In every action there are consequences. We are just awaiting the arrival of three more players and then we’ll press on ahead of the game on Sunday,” Lawrence added. The former Everton coach spoke about the conditions so far in Bangkok, saying that the organisers have been spot on so far.
“I think these Thai people have been very cooperative. They have done everything possible to ensure our trip is successful. They have put everything in place,” he said.